In an April 2009 email with the subject line “A favor,” Clinton Foundation executive Doug Band pressed Clinton State Department aides Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin on hiring someone whose name was redacted from the email obtained by Judicial Watch. Was [redacted] hired? AP diplomatic correspondent Matt Lee posed the question to State Department press director Elizabeth Kennedy Trudeau at yesterday’s press briefing. I don’t want to spoil the suspense. Check out the video below (about 90 seconds); the answer follows.
Trudeau cites the Privacy Act in declining to answer Lee’s question. Trudeau doesn’t really explain why the Privacy Act prohibits an answer to Lee’s question. She says without elaboration: “We can’t speak to specific personnel decisions.”
I may be mistaken, but I doubt that disclosure of whether or not [redacted] was hired violates the Privacy Act. As Lee’s questions suggest, Trudeau could ascertain an answer to the question without accessing any protected “record” at all.